The human body is an awesome, beautiful, confusing, confounding construction, isn’t it? Scrapes, cuts, and broken bones are normally no problem for the human body to heal (I mean, sure, it takes some time, but your body can actually repair the huge bones in your legs and arms with little more than a splint and some time).
But when it comes to repairing the delicate little hairs in your ear, it’s not going to happen. For now anyway.
It’s really unfortunate that your body can pull off such great feats of healing but can’t ever re-grow these tiny hairs. What’s going on there?
When is Hearing Loss Irreversible?
So, let’s get right down to it. You’re sitting in your doctor’s office and you’re taking in the news: you have hearing impairment. So you ask your doctor if your hearing will ever return. And he tells you that it might or it might not.
Dramatically speaking, it’s a little anticlimactic.
But it’s also the truth. There are two basic kinds of hearing loss:
- Hearing loss due to damage: But there’s another, more common form of hearing loss. Known medically as sensorineural hearing loss, this type of hearing loss is effectively irreversible. Here’s what happens: there are tiny hairs in your ear that vibrate when struck by moving air (sound waves). Your brain is good at turning these vibrations into the sounds you hear. But over time, loud noises can cause these hairs to be damaged to the point where treatment is necessary.
- Obstruction induced hearing loss: You can exhibit every sign of hearing loss when your ear has some sort of blockage. This blockage can be caused by a number of things, from the gross (ear wax) to the downright frightening (tumors). Your hearing will return to normal, luckily, when the obstruction is removed.
So here’s the main point: you can recover from one form of hearing loss and you probably won’t know which one you’re coping with without getting a hearing test.
Hearing Loss Treatment
So currently there’s no “cure” for sensorineural hearing loss (though scientists are working on it). But your hearing loss still may be manageable. Here are some ways that the correct treatment might help you:
- Preserve a high quality of life.
- Prevent mental decline.
- Avoid isolation by staying socially involved.
- Cope successfully with any of the symptoms of hearing loss you may be going through.
- Safeguard and maintain your remaining hearing.
This treatment can take various forms, and it’ll usually depend on how severe your hearing loss is. One of the most prevalent treatments is rather simple: hearing aids.
Why Are Hearing Aids a Good Treatment For Hearing Impairment?
Hearing aids can help you get back to the people and things you enjoy. With the help of hearing aids, you can start to hear conversations, your tv, your phone, and sounds of nature once more. Hearing aids can also take some of the pressure off of your brain because you will no longer be struggling to hear.
Prevention is The Best Protection
Whether you have hearing loss now or not, you should protect your hearing from loud noises and other things that can harm your hearing (like ototoxic drugs). Hearing well is crucial to your general health and well-being. Regular hearing care, like annual hearing exams, is just another type of self-care.